Archived Story

Hartselle voters approve amendment by 74 votes

Published 1:27pm Monday, September 24, 2012

Hartselle voted in favor of transferring money from the State Trust Fund to the General Fund by a narrow margin in Tuesday’s Constitutional election.

Voters approving the amendment totaled 1,128 while those voting against the measure totaled 1,054, a difference of 74 votes.

Of the 840 voters who cast ballots at the American Legion Home, only 11 votes separated those who voted “yes” and those who voted “no.” The difference was 56 votes at Sparkman Civic Center with 699 voting “yes” and 643 voting “no.”

The vote was also close countywide with 51 percent of the voting favoring the amendment and 49 percent voting against it.

The measure was approved statewide 65 to 35 percent with 88 percent of the votes counted.

Voter approval of the amendment authorizes the state to transfer $145.8 million from the natural oil and gas Trust Fund in fiscal 2013 to meet a budget shortfall for General Fund operations such as Medicaid and prisons. Similar withdrawals will also occur in fiscal 2014 and 2015.

  • anutherHartsellecitizen

    It is a shame that the leaders of the State of Alabama went about getting this amendment on an *almost* secret ballot. The fact that we need money to cover short-falls is not the part of this amendment that bothers me the most.
    While our Governor states that they “plan” to repay all the money borrowed, there is actually NO PROVISION in the amendment for how or when (or if) is it to be repaid.
    BUT… The biggest problem with all of this is as follows: Originally, this trust was funded with 100% of the collected (taxes?) from the oil & natural gas industry in the state.
    In the 1990′s, under Siegelman’s term(s), a large chunk of $$ was borrowed from this fund (also with no provision of how to repay)and the percentage going in was reduced from 100% down to 65%…
    This new amendment that was just rail-roaded through not only has no provision to pay the funds back, but CUTS THE
    AMOUNT ALL THE WAY TO 35%… We are being robbed of our State rainy-day fund, and the thieves are smiling the whole time. They don’t even have to tell us what they are doing with the additional 30% they are taking away that most people didn’t even know about.

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